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Old 01-19-2011, 01:37 PM   #117
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Trying to keep the "Training Internal Strength" topic-header in mind and include Tony into the larger picture....

I'm not particular concerned or put out with Tony's remarks; in fact, to me there's a certain amount of humor in reading Tony's writings, his biography on his webpage, and so on. Some classic reading. In a way Tony indicates that people attempting to do Aikido with so-called internal-strength skills don't understand the real, hard world of fighting as he knows it. I seldom get into these discussions for the simple reason that I've been in plenty of hard fights in my life, but I don't see where it has much to do with the topic. Someone can be good at "internal strength" and yet that tells us nothing about whether they're good at fighting or not. Some of the people who were good at internal strength in the last few centuries never did submission fighting but they killed a number of people in straight-out all-on-the-line fights. So they weren't any good at fighting? Please.

On the other hand, a, for instance, 23-year-old woman might have extremely good i.s. skills, but she might not last in an actual fight. Are her skills suddenly not valid because of that? That's a silly view. Getting internal strength skills is a separate topic from whether someone is a good fighter or not; the skills give an advantage in a fight, but they are not the full martial-art themselves.

On the other hand, as Ushiro Sensei noted: Aikido without kokyu skills is not complete.

If someone like Tony already knows everything, then I say more power to him. It's pointless to argue. Dan Harden made a point of mentioning people who, as they learned some basic things, "didn't know that they didn't know". Tony would undoubtedly fit into that category, as would a number of other people.

The problem with the "didn't know I didn't know" stuff is that it's not over yet. Some of the great attacks on peoples' characters happened during the great "Ki Wars" in various forums (Aikido-L, AikiWeb, etc.) and some of the people involved in the attacks (or sympathetic to them) have begun to realize that there was indeed something there that they hadn't known before. My viewpoint is that the same situation is still going on... the ki/kokyu topic still has a number of areas that people are unaware are even there. My point is that Tony falls into a recognizable category, but everyone should still be careful to understand that the same trap of "not knowing that I didn't know" is a continuing trap, not something now relegated to the past, so in effect Tony's not in a unique position....give him some slack. Don't worry about what Tony doesn't know, worry more about what you (we) don't know that can come out later and make us all look like chumps. Keep looking; comment less.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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